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Nutrition and Fitness » Health Benefits of Chocolates

For centuries, chocolates have been one of the most popular sweet-tasting treats in the world. It is really difficult to find people who don’t like chocolates. Everyone is crazy about chocolates due to its mouth watering taste and fascinating appearance.

But a myth has been prevailing around chocolates that it tastes so good that it must be bad for one’s health. It is considered responsible for dental health and obesity. Recent researchers have found that only some form of chocolates, especially dark chocolates, exhibit health benefits.  Some of the health benefits associated with dark chocolates is as follows:
 Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper which help in maintaining the blood pressure to the normal level.

* Eating dark chocolates stimulates the production of endorphin which results in the reduction of the stress levels and giving rise to happy feelings.
* Eating dark chocolate not only relaxes but also makes the blood vessel more flexible. It decreases the risk posed by several cardiovascular diseases.
* Dark chocolates have been medically proven to reduce the blood cholesterol level significantly.
* The flavonoids present in dark chocolate are useful in treating anemic patients and those having poor dietary habits.
* Dark chocolates are rich in anti-oxidants. They help in fighting pre-mature aging and heart-diseases.
* Intake of dark chocolate is good for heart health.

However, eating chocolates also brings some disadvantages. These are:

* Dark chocolate is calorie rich food with high sugar and fat content, so regular intake of dark chocolates should be balanced by less calorie intake from other foods.
* Chocolates contain some substances which have addictive properties like sugar and caffeine, which are stimulating and mood elevating.
* Chocolates contain vasoactive amines which have been linked to nervous tension and migraine headaches. 
* Chocolates contain high levels of arginine which are required for the replication of herpes virus. Therefore, chocolates should be avoided by people with active or recurring herpes infection.

The amount of chocolate intake should be moderate in order to enjoy optimum health benefits. Unsweetened chocolates, i.e., chocolates with less cocoa butter and added flavors, are always good and have great positive health effects on the body.

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